According to NHSTA, 2020 saw 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide, the highest number of fatalities since 2007. And while the number of crashes and traffic injuries declined overall, fatal crashes increased by 6.8%.
This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 10-16.
During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement agencies across North America engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial motor vehicle and passenger-vehicle drivers, issuing warnings and citations to drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, drunk or drugged driving, etc.
According to CVSA, activities are held across the United States, Canada and Mexico with the goal of increasing commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver roadside inspections and driver regulatory compliance.
The focus area for Operation Safe Driver Week is speeding.
Speeding continues to be the number one driver citation and warnings during CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week, with 1,690 citations and 2,549 warnings for speeding in 2021.
Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors.
By interacting with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.
- Speeding of any kind was the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles. (Source)
- Speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day. (Source)
- Distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. (Source)
Past Operation Safe Driver Week Stats
Last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week saw passenger vehicle drivers receiving nearly three times as many warnings and citations (32,121) as commercial motor vehicle drivers (10,736 warnings and citations).
Although commercial motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from using a hand-held device while operating their vehicle, it was the fourth ranked traffic enforcement citation for commercial motor vehicle drivers (269 citations) versus ranking 12th for passenger vehicle drivers (58 citations).
- In 2020, 14,378 passenger vehicle drivers and 2,339 commercial motor vehicle drivers receive citations for speeding during the height of the COVID pandemic.
- In 2019, 16,102 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,454 commercial motor vehicle drivers received citations for speeding.
- In 2018, 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,908 commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued citations for speeding.
What will law enforcement look for?
Law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers engaging in speeding and unsafe driving behaviors and will be pulling over drivers to issue a warning and/or citation.
- failure to use a seat belt
- reckless or aggressive driving
- distracted driving
- following too closely
- improper lane change
- failure to obey traffic control devices, and
- evidence of drunk or drugged driving
Failure to wear a seatbelt was the second highest violation for both types of drivers and buckling up is the single most effective thing vehicle drivers and passengers can do to protect themselves in the event of a crash.
A study in 2014 shows that issuing citations does influence driver behavior, with just a 1 percent increase in citations leading to a 28 percent reduction in motor vehicle crashes.
This reduction in crashes is a major reason law enforcement has backed and promoted CVSA’s focus on speeding and the message, “Late won’t kill you, speeding will.”